Anthony Firkser

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Anthony Firkser
refer to caption
Firkser with the Tennessee Titans in 2019
No. 86 – Tennessee Titans
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1995-02-19) February 19, 1995 (age 26)
Manalapan Township, New Jersey
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:246 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Manalapan (N.J.) High School
College:Harvard
Undrafted:2017
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of 2020
Receptions:72
Receiving yards:816
Receiving touchdowns:3
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Anthony Paul Firkser (born February 19, 1995) is an American football tight end for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Harvard University.[1]

Early years[edit]

Firkser was born in Manalapan Township, New Jersey, to Alex and Donna Firkser. He is Jewish, and he and his family, including his brother Josh, belonged to Temple Shaari Emeth in Manalapan, where he celebrated his bar mitzvah.[2][3][4]

High school career[edit]

He was a multi-sport athlete at Manalapan High School.[5] In basketball, Firkser played point guard, scoring 21.3 points and 7.6 assists per game. He finished his career second in school history with 1,362 points. In his senior year, the Shore Basketball Coaches named Firkser the Shore Conference Co-Player of the Year. He was also named the Shore Conference ‘A’ North Division Offensive Player of the Year and made the all-state team. He competed at the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel as a guard for the 18-and-under gold medal-winning Team USA basketball team, playing alongside Spencer Weisz.[2][4][6]

Firkser did not begin playing football until his sophomore year in high school. During Firkser's three-year high school career, the Manalapan football team went 30–6 and won three consecutive ‘A’ North Division titles. During one stretch, Manalapan had an 18-game winning streak within the division. After a semifinal visit in the state playoffs his sophomore year, Firkser and his teammates played for the NJSIAA Central Jersey title in his junior and senior years. While at Manalapan, Firkser set career school records in receptions (110), receiving yards (2,118) and touchdown receptions (19). After his senior year, he was named All-Shore Offensive Player of the Year as a senior wide receiver. Firkser also was a two-time All-Shore first-team selection.[7]

College career[edit]

Firkser was recruited by Harvard University and four other universities. Citing the university's academic program and the school's willingness to let him play both basketball and football, Firkser committed to play for coach Tim Murphy at Harvard on October 17, 2012.[8]

College statistics[edit]

Year Team GP Rec Rec/Gm Yards Yds/Gm Avg/Rec TD
2014 Harvard 10 32 3.2 485 48.5 15.2 4
2015 Harvard 9 22 2.4 372 41.3 16.9 3
2016 Harvard 10 45 4.5 702 70.2 15.6 7
Career 29 99 3.4 1,559 53.8 15.7 14

Firkser saw his first collegiate action in 2014 as a sophomore. He appeared in 10 games for Harvard and made 32 catches for 485 yards. His four touchdown receptions tied for first on the team and he ranked second on the team in both catches and yards. After the season, Firkser was named to the All-Ivy second team. Firkser started nine games and caught 22 passes for 372 yards and three touchdowns in 2015 as a junior. For the second consecutive season, he was named to the All-Ivy League second team. As a senior in 2016, Firkser started all 10 games for Harvard and made 45 receptions for 702 yards and seven touchdowns. He was named to the All-Ivy League first team.

At the conclusion of his collegiate career, Firkser ranked 12th all-time in school history in receptions, ninth all-time in receiving yards, and sixth all-time in touchdown receptions. He graduated from Harvard in 2017 with a degree in applied mathematics. During the 2018 offseason, Firkser participated in actuarial credential exams in hopes of potentially pursuing a post-football career as an actuary.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Coming into the 2017 NFL Draft, scouting reports projected Firkser to best fit with an NFL team in a role of a fullback/tight end hybrid player. Scouts believed Firkser was tough, intelligent, and relatively athletic. Scouts also praised him for his ability to quickly get into pass routes and adjust to errant throws. However, scouts negatively viewed him as possessing just average size and questioned his strength as a blocker.[9]

On March 19, 2017, Firkser participated in the Harvard Pro Day, an event at which Harvard football players demonstrate their skills to an audience of NFL scouts and coaches. Nearly half of the NFL teams attended this event.[10]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
241 lb
(109 kg)
4.79 s 1.65 s 2.76 s 4.19 s 6.88 s 31.5 in
(0.80 m)
8 ft 11 in
(2.72 m)
21 reps

New York Jets[edit]

Firkser signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent on May 5, 2017.[11] He was waived by the Jets on September 2, 2017.[12]

Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

On November 29, 2017, Firkser was signed to the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad.[13] He signed a reserve/future contract with the Chiefs on January 8, 2018.[14] He was waived on April 30, 2018.[15]

Tennessee Titans[edit]

On May 14, 2018, Firkser was signed by the Tennessee Titans.[16]

2018 season[edit]

Firkser in 2018

In the preseason, Firkser was second on the team in both receptions (10) and receiving yards (108). On September 1, 2018, he was named to the Titans' initial 53-man roster.[17] He was waived by the Titans on September 17, and was re-signed to the practice squad the next day.[18][19] He was promoted to the active roster on October 8.[20] On October 14, 2018, Firkser caught his first NFL reception in a Week 6 loss against the Baltimore Ravens.[21] On December 2, Firkser scored his first NFL career touchdown on a 12-yard reception from Marcus Mariota in a 26–22 Week 13 victory against the New York Jets.[22][23]

Firkser finished the 2018 season with 19 receptions for 225 yards and a touchdown.[24]

2019 season[edit]

Firkser began the season as one of four tight ends on the Titans opening day roster along with veterans Delanie Walker, Jonnu Smith, and MyCole Pruitt. For the first six weeks of the regular season, Firkser played sparingly and was even a healthy inactive in Week 4. During that six-week span, he caught only one pass for 25 yards. After Walker was later placed on injured reserve,[25] Firkser played a larger role in the Titans offense. During Week 10 against the Kansas City Chiefs, he caught three receptions for 36 yards and his only touchdown of the regular season as the Titans won by a score of 35–32.[26]

Firkser finished the season with 14 receptions for 204 yards and a touchdown.[27] Ironically, Firkser's first two career touchdowns were against the Jets and Chiefs – the two teams that had previously waived him.

The Titans finished the regular season with a 9–7 record and were the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. Firkser played his first postseason game on January 4, 2020, against the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. In that game, he caught two passes for 23 yards and a touchdown in the Titans 20–13 upset victory. With the touchdown, he became the first player from Harvard to score a touchdown in an NFL postseason game.[28] Firkser's final reception of the season was also the final touchdown of the Titans 2019 season. He caught a 22-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game in a 35–24 loss to the Chiefs.[29]

2020 season[edit]

On February 13, 2020, Firkser signed a one-year extension with the Titans.[30][31] On October 18, Firkser recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game and his first touchdown of the 2020 season in a 42–36 overtime victory against the Houston Texans. He caught eight of nine targets from Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill for 113 yards including a seven-yard touchdown in the first quarter.[32]

2021 season[edit]

On March 17, 2021, Firkser re-signed with the Titans on a one-year deal.[33]

NFL career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2018 TEN 12 0 19 225 11.8 28 1 0 0
2019 TEN 15 1 14 204 14.6 39 1 0 0
2020 TEN 16 1 39 387 9.9 45 1 0 0
Career 43 2 72 816 11.3 45 3 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0

Postseason[edit]

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2019 TEN 3 0 3 45 15.0 22T 2 0 0
2020 TEN 1 0 2 44 22.0 35 0 0 0
Career 4 0 5 89 17.8 35 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0

Personal life[edit]

Firkser volunteers with his former high school football coach to help train and give advice to aspiring young football players in his hometown community of Manalapan. He enjoys pencil drawings, jigsaw puzzles and playing online collectible card games. His brother, Josh, played football at Wagner.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Anthony Firkser, Biography". titansonline.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Silow, Andrew (May 9, 2013). "Local athletes to compete in Israel Games | New Jersey Jewish News". New Jersey Jewish News. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Fine, Jeremy (August 23, 2017). "7 Jewish NFL Stories to Watch in 2017". Oy!Chicago. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Bloom, Nate (October 3, 2019). "Jewz in the Newz". American Israelite. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  5. ^ "Anthony Firkser fields offers from academic elite, leads Manalapan". USA TODAY High School Sports. September 6, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Amir Shoam (August 7, 2013). "Maccabiah: U.S. Wins Five Basketball Medals". The Philadelphia Jewish Voice. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  7. ^ Morris, Tim (August 14, 2013). "Firkser excelled in both football and basketball". GMNews Archive. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  8. ^ "Anthony Firkser, Recruiting Activity". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "Draft Analyst: Anthony Firkser". draftanalyst.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "Harvard Football Hosts 2017 Pro Day". gocrimson.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  11. ^ Allen, Eric (May 5, 2017). "Jets Sign Eight Undrafted Free Agents". NewYorkJets.com. Archived from the original on October 12, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  12. ^ Lange, Randy (September 2, 2017). "Jets Reduce to 53 with 23 Player Moves". NewYorkJets.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  13. ^ Bouda, Nate (November 29, 2017). "Chiefs Release WR Devin Lucien from PS, Sign TE Anthony Firkser". NFL Trade Rumors. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  14. ^ Paylor, Terez A. (January 9, 2018). "Chiefs sign 10 to reserve-futures deals". KansasCity.com. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  15. ^ Sweeney, Pete (May 1, 2018). "Chiefs make three cuts Monday". ArrowheadPride.com. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  16. ^ Morris, Jimmy (May 14, 2018). "Titans add 5 players to the roster after rookie mini-camp". MusicCityMiracles.com. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  17. ^ Morris, Jimmy (September 1, 2018). "Titans initial 53 man roster". MusicCityMiracles.com. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  18. ^ Wyatt, Jim (September 17, 2018). "Titans Add WR Nick Williams, Waive TE Anthony Firkser, WR Cameron Batson". TitansOnline.com.
  19. ^ Wyatt, Jim (September 18, 2018). "Titans Add RB Dalyn Dawkins, CB Kenneth Durden While Waiving LB Aaron Wallace". TitansOnline.com.
  20. ^ Wyatt, Jim (October 8, 2018). "Titans Promote TE Anthony Firkser to 53-Man Roster". TitansOnline.com.
  21. ^ "Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans – October 14th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  22. ^ "Anthony Firkser Game-by-Game Stats". ESPN.com.
  23. ^ "Titans' Anthony Firkser: Logs first career touchdown". CBSSports.com. December 2, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  24. ^ "Anthony Firkser 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  25. ^ Moraitis, Michael (October 23, 2019). "Delanie Walker injury updates: The latest on Titans TE's status for Week 8". titansized.com. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  26. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans – November 10th, 2019". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
  27. ^ "Anthony Firkser Game Logs". nfl.com. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  28. ^ Chung, Joshua (January 6, 2020). "From Manalapan High to the NFL: Hometown fans cheer on Titans' playoff hero Anthony Firkser". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
  29. ^ "Mahomes' feet, arms, lift Chiefs to Super Bowl over Titans". www.espn.com. Associated Press. January 19, 2020. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  30. ^ "Roundup: Titans sign TE Anthony Firkser to extension". nfl.com. Associated Press. February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  31. ^ "Roundup: Titans Agree to One-Year Contract Extension with TE Anthony Firkser". titansonline.com. Associated Press. February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  32. ^ "Titans' Anthony Firkser: Finds end zone while Smith exits". cbssports.com. CBS Sports. October 18, 2020. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  33. ^ Wyatt, Jim (March 17, 2021). "Titans Agree to Terms With TEs Anthony Firkser, Geoff Swaim on a Pair of One-Year Deals". TennesseeTitans.com.
  34. ^ "Anthony Firkser". titansonline.com. Retrieved September 1, 2018.

External links[edit]